Do you have someone you always go on holiday with? Well, for me it’s my best friend Helen who I’ve known since we bonded over our complete inability to draw in Art class at secondary school. Over the last few years we’ve travelled to Iceland, Amsterdam, Yorkshire and Athens together – and we’re hoping to visit at least one new country together this summer.
Helen and I at the TBEX opening party in Athens last October
So, for something a little different today, I’ve asked Helen if she wouldn’t mind writing up a little bit about what it’s like to ‘holiday’ (if you can really call it that) with a travel blogger. I told her she had free rein to write whatever she fancied about me, which I instantly regretted. This is the completely unedited version…
Think you’re going on ‘holiday’? Think again…
1. The planning, oh the planning.
In the weeks, nay MONTHS running up to your trip, expect an influx of Facebook messages, texts and tweets linking you to amazing places that they’ve spotted. You won’t be able to keep up but you can smile, nod and help them to narrow down their epic list. They’ll thank you for it when they get overwhelmed by the sheer amount that they want to do…
2. Time is of the essence.
You’re only going to be there for a finite number of days, and you’d better not forget it. Expect your travel blogging pal to have all the sites they want to see mapped out with the best route to get to each. If you wanted a relaxed, beach-side holiday where you spend hours soaking up the sun and sipping cocktails, you’ve chosen the wrong companion, my friend.
There are sites to explore, cafes to sip tea in, winding paths to get lost down, hidden gems to be discovered – this is no time to be topping up the tan. Adjust your expectations, pack a good pair of walking shoes and prepare for adventure.
3. Any opportunity is a photo opportunity.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from travelling with a blogger, it’s that they see the world a little differently to us normal folk. Where you might see a bike leaned strategically against a lamp post or some street knitting by someone who clearly has too much time on their hands, they see a wonderfully whimsical photo opportunity that their readers will love.
Speaking of which, there should always be at least an hour factored into each day’s activities for the taking of photos. I mean, content is what it’s all about right?
“Emily, why are you taking a picture of that knitted lamp-post, the spectacular church in all its glory is positioned just behind it…”
4. There are more than just two of you on this trip…
Prepare to be third-wheelin’. Whether it’s via Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook, your blogging buddy has a keen readership to keep up-to-date with all your adventures. Between seeing the sites, quaint cafes with free wifi will become your second home. But, hey! You can never have too much tea, right?
5. Prepare to have your mind broadened.
You’re not a tourist any more. You’re a traveller. A travel blogger will always take you off the beaten track. Their hours of pouring over other traveller’s blogs and getting the best tips from their pals means that they know secrets that TripAdvisor just can’t offer. They’ll take you to a little-known restaurant where all the locals head, they know that there’s a beautiful view hidden just around the corner that no one else knows, they’ll introduce you to people with the most incredible stories.
One thing is certain: once you go away with a travel blogger, no one else will quite match up.
Phew. I don’t think that was *too* bad…although it’s made me realise just how much she has to put up with when we’re away together! All I can say is – Helen, thank you so much for being the bestest travel companion I could ask for. Here’s to many, many more trips together! ♥